SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-09-28: "Dwelling In Unity"

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In Northwestern Australia a group of aborigine nomads wandered that dry, hot land carrying a pole with them. Each time they paused in the wanderings to make a settlement, they would plant that pole in the center of the settlement. The pole was said to be, "the center of the world." When missionaries came to their territory, they took away the pole and told the natives it was mere superstition. The tribe slowly withered away and died, because its members believe they had lost “the center of their world.”

WHAT IS the center of our world?

Is it home / school / work / family?

Is it economic security?




This morning's TEXT was probably written for the great Jewish Feast Days. Can you picture it?

Holiday at­mosphere.

Great spirit of fellowship and brotherly harmony.

Hospitality abounding

Barriers were down

Peace, joy and acceptance were the order of the day!

“Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity?”

They dwell in unity because they are brethren.

Imagine oriental feast scene: Sit on special rug and cushions around a small circular tray made of heavy metal. The food is placed on this tray. The dishes were stews of rice, cracked wheat or beans, served in a large bowl.

The brethren would break off a small piece of flat bread, and fold it up to act as spoon. With this bread and their fingers they would convey food into their mouths.  In this culture to eat with a person implies a close bond of friendship. The greatest mark of esteem a host can pay his guests is to select a choice morsel out of the common dish and place it in his guests' mouth! One missionary told of his experience in a Middle Eastern home that ate in this fashion. He related:

"I have had food placed in my mouth by hands none too clean. Once my hostess placed some bits of meat in her own mouth and evidently found the taste extra fine, so she immediately removed the choice morsel and placed it in my mouth... AND I WAS EXPECTED TO LOOK PLEASED AND HONORED!" Dwelling in Unity!

Unity among brethren!


Sheepfold Ministries, September 28 2008

Pastor Phil Roland


PSALM 133 – John 17:20-21

“True Christian believers dwell together in unity. We are one because Jesus’ prayed that we’d be one in His unity. His credibility in the world depended upon it.”

Pastor Phil


"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”



“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

A. False Unity – Prov. 29:18a

     “Where there is no vision, the people perish:”

            1. Sheepfold Vision: Healing the Broken-Hearted

2. Offering a “Hand Up, not a Hand Out”

3. False Unity Based on Physical Things / Goals

            B. True Unity – Ephesians 4:13

     “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the

      Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of

      the fullness of Christ.”

            1. True Unity is found in Jesus Christ

            2. Trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord of Your Life



      “It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of

      Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.”

            A. The Unity of the Anointing has Three Properties

                        1. The Anointing SHINES

                                    a. Jesus Shines with the Father’s Anointing – John 1:14

                                “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we

     beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the

     Father, full of grace and truth.”

                                    b. You Shine – 2 Cor. 3:18

    “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the

     glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image

     from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

                        2. The Anointing TRAVELS DOWNWARD

                                    a. Pulled Downward by Gravity

                                    b. First from Christ

                                    c. Pastoral Leadership

                                    d. Downward flowing anointing only source of authority


e. John Bunyan, “Pilgrim’s Progress”

                                        Portrays a man with a muckrake. His is a stooped figure of a

    man. He’s preoccupied with raking through the muck and mire

   at his feet trying to find something of value. All the while, poised

   over his head is a glittering crown. He can’t see the crown, he’s

   too busy raking the muck.”

                        3. The Anointing Has A SWEET AROMA

                                    a. Jesus is “Sweet” – Ephesians 5:1,2

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love,

  as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering

 and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

b. You, His People are “Sweet” – 2 Cor. 2:15

“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are

being saved”



“On the warm, humid Palestinian nights the temperature drops markedly. Condensation from the water vapor of the humid air collects on the ground which has lost heat during the night. One of the heaviest places the dew collects is at the source of the Jordan River beneath the slopes of Mt. Hermon.”

            The Metaphor of the Dew on Mt. Hermon pictures:

A. The Unity of God’s Anointing on Many – Isaiah 44:3

 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”

            1. Found in Jesus  - John 7:37

                “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.”

            2. He is the Source of Living Water – John 4:14

                “"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.

     But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of

     water springing up into everlasting life."


B. Three Things the Dew of Hermon Accomplishes:

            1. The Dew of Hermon REFRESHES

            2. The Dew of Hermon NURTURES

            3. The Dew of Hermon RESTORES





133:1  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2  It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

3  It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.




Closing Illustration

The Anointing of Jesus Restores

Near the end of the Second World War a young Christian officer of the United States Army was stationed in the Ruhr Valley of Central German The German army had just fled leaving destruction in its wake.

Because mines and booby traps were an ever-present danger, the orders were, "positively no fraternizing." As he was searching the village care­fully, watching every door closely, the officer came to a church. He had been an organist in his home town in Texas, but he had not laid his hands on a key­board in over three years. A hymnbook was open to the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." He was all alone and somehow he felt he had to play that hymn. Opening the stops of the organ, he let the magnificent melody peal forth with power. He was playing purely for his own pleasure.

          But glancing over his shoulder, he saw two elderly people walking down the aisle. They sat down reverently in the front pew. Smiling at them, the American soldier continued playing. Others began coming into the church, and soon there were twenty or more, all silently worshipping. For many months no religious service had been conducted in that church.

          Before he finished, American soldiers and German civilians were joining to­gether in this, one of the greatest hymns of the Christian church. But what was the young organist to do?  His orders were "no fraternizing." Should he speak to them or arrest them?

Just then an old German cripple, deeply moved, hobbled over to him, tears streaming down his withered cheeks. Throwing his arms around the young officer, he said over and over again,

"Mein Bruder!  Mein Bruder!"

The anointing of Jesus Christ makes us all brothers and sisters in Him!


That makes our hearts one!!!